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Hands-on: New Steam Beta Adds PS5 DualSense Controller Support (Updated)

PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller Front View
Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller (Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

Update, 11/18/2020 6:20pm PT: A recent Steam beta client update has added basic support for Sony's Playstation 5 DualSense controller. In our original story below, we went hands-on with an updated Steam Beta Client with native DualSense support. Since then, a newer beta client has been released and has added LED, trackpad, gyro, and rumble support.  

As you can see in the video above, with this newest update, the DualSense went from being barely supported to having nearly all of its functionality enabled for use in Steam. Now PC gamers can adjust several settings for the DualSense controller. The controller is no longer recognized as a DualShock 4 controller and is now seen as a DualSense controller, and the beta also adds a revamped calibration system.

However, it does appear that the rumble capability is only available if you connect a USB Type-C cable to the controller. Attempting to use it via Bluetooth, I noticed that the rumble function was not working. This is just the second beta in less than a week, so I’m sure Valve will get that issue sorted out.

Now all that’s left is to add haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.  

Original Story:

One of the first questions I asked when Sony revealed its newest gaming controller for the PlayStation 5 was would it include native Windows/PC support? I eventually found out that the answer to that was no. Fast forward to the official release of the DualSense controller. I had one shipped to me, and the first thing I did was connect it to my Windows 10 PC via USB Type-C cable and Bluetooth. While the controller was recognized and usable to an extent, it was clear that the controller wasn't natively supported. With no official word from Sony, there was no telling if or when we'd see any support for the DualSense when it came to PC gaming.

Thankfully, as with most things with PC gaming, there's always a workaround or someone out there working on a solution. It turns out that for the DualSense controller, solutions are being worked on.

The first one comes via a recent Steam beta client update that has enabled preliminary support. This is just the first initial push of getting DualSense support added. It lacks many advanced features, such as Trackpad, Rumble, and Gyro functionality, but it works.

Upon hearing about the Steam beta, I downloaded it, restarted Steam, and plugged in my DualSense controller. Sure enough, it was recognized... but as a PlayStation 4 controller. Taking a look over that the Steam Community Forums, that is the expected result. Everything looked to be in order, so I gave it a try in several games, including Streets of Rage 4, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11, and Yakuza Like a Dragon. All of which worked, though without rumble support.

The fact that Valve has already added this to Steam is a godsend. And while Valve is no longer supporting its own gaming controller, it's nice to see that it's made it a mission to support just about any and every gaming controller that can be connected to a PC. I fully expect Valve to get every function of the DualSense working with the Steam client, just as they did with the DualShock 4 controller.

While of course only time will tell, it feels like it's just a matter of time before Steam gets almost all the features enabled -- outside of the haptic feedback, which would need in-game programming to work. 

  • hotaru251
    idk why sony doesnt make em supported easier..

    I personally like PS controlelrs over XB controllers, but the lack of pc support makes me not buy 1 for pc :/
    Reply
  • salgado18
    hotaru251 said:
    idk why sony doesnt make em supported easier..

    I personally like PS controlelrs over XB controllers, but the lack of pc support makes me not buy 1 for pc :/
    Because you won't buy a console if you can experience the same game the same way on PC. They want only the PS5 to have DualSense, and they get no money from Steam games.
    Reply
  • setx
    hotaru251 said:
    I personally like PS controlelrs over XB controllers, but the lack of pc support makes me not buy 1 for pc :/

    DualShock 3 has great PC support but it's 3'd party, not "official" one.
    Everything works: wireless, pressure sensitive buttons, gyroscope.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    salgado18 said:
    Because you won't buy a console if you can experience the same game the same way on PC. They want only the PS5 to have DualSense, and they get no money from Steam games.
    i wont buy a console for a controller when i can buy a controller alone :unsure:

    sony is all about exclusives...so havign a pc or not doesnt matter.

    supporting pc playerbase measn ppl would buy stand alone controller.

    look at XB controller for proof of it.
    Reply
  • keithdmitchell
    salgado18 said:
    Because you won't buy a console if you can experience the same game the same way on PC. They want only the PS5 to have DualSense, and they get no money from Steam games.
    This is not 100%. They've already stated they want to support the PC more. As for the official drivers, they're just slow. It took them three years after the DualShock 4 was released before they added native support. And even then, they did so with that USB adaptor.

    I truly believe that this is due to the Japanese side of Sony just not understanding just how much the DualShock and now DualSense controller is loved. You mentioned they don't make money from Steam and who cares. They make the money on hardware and that means for every controller they sell, they get paid. And even if they don't, as we've seen, the PC market has modders that have the no how to add unofficial support --> points to DS4Windows.
    Reply